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Thread: When is wasteful spending not wasteful?

  1. #1
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    When is wasteful spending not wasteful?

    When it is done by your party

    Republicans are conflicted over earmark ban

    Tea party Republicans railed against earmarks this campaign season, and now that many tea partiers are headed to the Senate, longtime members of Congress are pushing for their first real shot at banning these member-directed spending provisions once and for all.

    So why isn't everyone on board?

    The Senate GOP leader, Kentucky's Mitch McConnell, is a conservative and longtime member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who has supported past bans on earmarks. But even he argues that earmarks--individual items that lawmakers personally insert into spending bills--serve a vital purpose for senators looking to bring home federal money to their constituents.

    "The earmark issue is about discretion--about an argument between the executive branch and the legislative branch over how funds should be spent," McConnell said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "There are many members of my conference who have said, 'I don't want the president to make all the decisions about how the funds are spent that might be allocated in my state.'"

    McConnell reiterated much the same point on an appearance the same day on CBS's "Face the Nation"--and added that, contrary to claims from fellow conservatives, he doesn't believe an earmark ban will actually save any money.

    South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, a tea party star, is leading the push for a two-year earmark moratorium in the Senate as a way to attack "pork-barrel spending." DeMint is gathering support for a vote next week within the GOP conference to create a rule banning earmarks, and he has gained a number of supporters.

    One of these supporters is tea party Sen.-elect Rand Paul of Kentucky, who back in March of this year started beating the drum to ban all earmarks in Congress.

    But even Paul appears to be conflicted about the issue.

    As Dave Weigel notes Tuesday for Slate, Paul suggested his stance on earmarks wouldn't be as black-and-white once he entered office: According to the Wall Street Journal, Paul told its reporter that earmarks "are a bad 'symbol' of easy spending but that he will fight for Kentucky's share of earmarks and federal pork, as long as it's doled out transparently at the committee level and not parachuted in in the dead of night."

    "I will advocate for Kentucky's interests," Paul said.


    Paul's father, Texas GOP Rep. Ron Paul, also supports earmarks, despite his profile as a small-government libertarian. He said in a 2009 House floor speech that while it may be popular to vilify earmarks, they make up just 1 percent of the U.S. budget--and that for members of Congress to forfeit discretion in spending outlays is tantamount to shirking their duty.

    "It is the responsibility of the Congress to earmark. That's our job," Rep. Paul said. "We're supposed to tell the people how we're spending the money. Not to just deliver it in the lump sum to the executive branch and let them deal with it."

    He added that there is no firm definition of what constitutes an earmark versus a spending provision. Some earmarks do directly benefit a member's district or state, Paul noted, but other spending projects -- such as a weapons system that benefits a particular U.S. manufacturer -- are not considered earmarks.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot...er-earmark-ban

  2. #2
    JetsFan2012
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    Of course. Republicans railed against earmarks because they had no power in the House, they controlled no committees, and had no say as to where the earmarks go.

    And now that the Republicans are in power, Democrats will rail against earmarks and say they need to be banned. And the American political cycle continues.

    Poli Sci 101

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauliec View Post
    Of course. Republicans railed against earmarks because they had no power in the House, they controlled no committees, and had no say as to where the earmarks go.

    And now that the Republicans are in power, Democrats will rail against earmarks and say they need to be banned. And the American political cycle continues.

    Poli Sci 101
    we are in complete agreement on this

    As long as the big money controls both parties, nothing will change.

  4. #4
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    Maybe not, lol. Looks like the tea party people ***** slapped McConnell & Co. into line with this.

  5. #5
    JetsInsider.com Legend
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    1) earmarks are about 1.5% of spending so it's not a big deal

    2) it's a tool for congress to use... if they take that tool away from themselves... it's just putting more power in the hands of the executive branch.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauliec View Post
    Of course. Republicans railed against earmarks because they had no power in the House, they controlled no committees, and had no say as to where the earmarks go.

    And now that the Republicans are in power, Democrats will rail against earmarks and say they need to be banned. And the American political cycle continues.

    Poli Sci 101
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...0,124237.story

    GOP didn't give the Dims a chance. They're still supporting the ban.

  7. #7
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    Earmarks exist for re-election purposes only. Congressmen want to do right by their states so they can stay in office.

    There's an easier way to reduce earmarks significantly (and this bill is designed to smokescreen us all from this real method):

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